Despite some initial confusion on the efficacy of wearing masks, there seems to be widespread support amongst public health experts that wearing masks works to stop the spread of COVID-19. Research has found that cloth masks reduce the spread by 67 percent, and tighter-fitting, medical-grade masks like the N95 mask can reduce transmission by more than 95 percent.
It's easy to see the importance of wearing a mask with these figures. Masks work, especially in situations where social distancing isn't possible, like public transport. Read on to learn more about how important it is to wear a mask every time you take public transportation.
How Do Masks Help?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) can help prevent the spread of the virus. Research has found that wearing a mask, eye protection, and physical distancing can greatly reduce the virus.
The virus is spread by droplets coming from an infected person through sneezing, coughing, or even talking. Large droplets can evaporate into smaller droplets that can travel further. This is where the 1.5-meter distance for social distancing comes from. Staying this far away from others (even while wearing a mask) can greatly reduce the transmission of the virus, as droplets can't travel this far.
Research has found that face masks are most effective at protecting people with COVID from spreading it to others. There is even research out there suggesting that if people 80 percent of people wearing a mask in public, it would be more effective than a strict lockdown.
What Type of Mask Should I Wear?
No matter the type of mask you wear, you need to wear it properly. It should cover your face from your chin to over the bridge of your nose. They should fit around your face with no gaps and should stay secure while you are talking. It's important that you try to avoid touching your mask or adjusting it.
Cloth masks are sufficient for those who aren't medical personnel. Make sure it has multiple layers and isn't made of a stretchy material, like spandex. You should hold your material up to the light. The fewer tiny holes you can see, the better.
Cloth masks also might have a pocket for a filter. Filters typically have carbon fiber layers and add an additional level of protection.
One study found that the least effective face coverings are neck fleeces (also called neck gaiters) which are often worn by runners, bandanas or scarves over the face, and knitted masks. These masks are not effective because the material can break down larger droplets and allow them to travel further.
Masks should be washed daily and disposable masks should not be reworn.
When Do I Need a Mask?
Masks should be worn any time you are in public. Whether shopping, going to school or work, taking public transport, or traveling somewhere, you should wear a mask. Masks do not need to be worn in your private home, but in all public situations, they should be worn.
Check your local government guidelines to learn exactly what is required in your area.
Wearing Masks to Protect Yourself and Others
Do your part to help stop the spread of the virus by wearing a mask. It's a small step that can have a huge impact on limiting spread and infection numbers. Be sure you're wearing the right mask and wearing it properly, however.
Our FeverMates masks have fun designs for kids and adults and come in disposable and reusable designs. We also have other items to help stop the spread of COVID, including hand sanitiser, hand distancers, and stick-on temperature indicators. Check out our products to keep you, your family, and others safe.
Grab your Fevrmates face mask:
Read our other blogs at Fevermates